Mirjam Thomann

Exhibition view
Aufstellung (Women and Space)

All artistic actions are based on premises. The tradition of a medium, the knowledge of a generation, the training to become an artist, the canon of a milieu, the conditions of an institution, the specifications of a spatial situation, the power relations in the business: They are what precede artistic decisions and on which these decisions are based, and they have been understood and treated as a matter of course for such a long time that they are regarded, at best, as implicitly significant, as inaccessible determinants, as a structure. […]

Mirjam Thomann quite decidedly shares this historically evolved attentiveness toward what is at hand and must be presupposed. The circumstances one encounters on the path to a new project, a new piece, are no longer eliminated but newly configured, arranged, staged, and supplemented. In the process, her artistic practice effectively draws—consciously or not—from the etymology of “premise.” In the sense of argumentative logic, a premise is the precondition from which a conclusion is drawn. But “premise” also has juridical meanings. It denotes a passage previously mentioned in a document, for example, or “a basis, stated or assumed, on which reasoning proceeds”—the instance to which juridical argumentation refers in order to gain plausibility.

Apart from this logical-juridical dimension and depending on the context, “premise” can also mean a piece of land along with the building(s) on it, or just a section of a building. In this additional, architectural-spatial sense, the term “premise” attains a special explanatory power with Mirjam Thomann. The artist grasps architectural-spatial givens, “premises,” as a material and a challenge. Keeping them in mind, the decision is made as to what can be done, when, and in which way. In other words, potentiality lies waiting in that which is given. It is the frame of preconditions. To look at it, to turn to it, to turn it around, to enter it, are potential actions. The given circumstances reveal themselves in their quality of being able to do something with them, to reread them, to overwrite them. Hence, “premises” would exist to be filled and expanded with situations, with what is unexpected, with people, too; they would be there to be activated instead of “staged.” The addition or withdrawal of information increases the comprehensibility of the conditions. To recognize history as a condition of current action arouses political interest. The white cube—against all assertions to the contrary—is never what it is supposed to be. In deviating from modernist exhibition bodies, gaps open up to correct the experience that makes it an aesthetic one. […]

[But] the seriousness of the examination of what is at hand corresponds not only in this case with a playful mixture of reverence and irreverance that at times tends to become unserious. The premises are estimated and esteemed. Thomann’s interested attention always also has an eye for weaknesses and unused potentials.

Excerpt from the text “Please Pass The Salt. On Four Dimensions of Mirjam Thomann’s Art” by Tom Holert, published in: 2015 Mirjam Thomann, Eva Maria Stadler, Mirjam Thomann (ed.), Berlin: Sternberg Press 2015.



Mirjam Thomann

Lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

1978 born in Wuppertal, Germany
2000-2006 University of Fine Arts, Hamburg
1998-1999 Kingston University of London

Solo Exhibitions

2020“Scarecrow”, Uferhallen Berlin
2016Krobath, Vienna
2015 “Better Living”, Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin
2013“Art im Dumont-Carré”, w/ Kalin Lindena, Galerie Nagel Draxler im Dumont-Carré, Köln
2012 “Good news-I hear the paradigm is shifting”, Galerie der Stadt Schwaz, Schwaz
“Out of Shape”, Lichthaus Arnsberg, Arnsberg
“New Positions”, Art Cologne, Stand Galerie Christian Nagel, Köln
2011“Check Room”, 4D, Berlin
2010“Aufstellung”, Galerie Christian Nagel, Berlin
2009“Shapes, Dimensions, Possibilities”, Casco – Office for Art, Design and Theory, Utrecht, Niederlande
2008“New Work”, Galerie Christian Nagel, Köln
“The Masking Piece”, w/ Carola Wagenplast, Pudelkollektion, Golden Pudel Club, Hamburg
“Places and Names”, w/ Jan Timme, Rental Gallery, New York
“The System Grows To Meet Requirements”, Galerie Durstewitz-Sapre, Hamburg
2007“no projects were undertaken, dazwischen#2″, mit Karolin Meunier, White Space, Zürich
2006“shift (inbetween)”, Diplomausstellung Hochschule für bildende Kunst, Hamburg
2003“Better than life (my postmodernism)”, Av, Hamburg

Group Exhibitions

2022“3 Months Later”, Klosterruine Berlin
2020“Times in Crisis”, Klosterruine Berlin
“Wand an Wand an Wand”, Studio im Hochhaus, mit / with Heike Baranowsky, Veronika Kellndorfer, Berlin
“Uferhallen-Manifest”, Uferhallen, Berlin
2018“MILIEU at After the Butcher, Berlin” (Katharina Aigner, Maria Eichhorn, Stephanie Taylor, Mirjam Thomann, titre provisoire, Jenni Tischer)
2016 North Coast Art Triennale, Gribskov
2015 “Wo ist hier? #2: Raum und Gegenwart”, Kunstverein Reutlingen, Reutlingen.
“Geh‘ und spiel mit dem Riesen. Kritik und Emanzipation von Kindheit”, Villa Stuck, München
“Final Projects Exhibition”, Mackey Apartments and Garage Top, Los Angeles
“Superselecto, Selecto Planta Baja”, Los Angeles und / and Kunstraum Super, Wien/Vienna
2013“Risk Society. Individualization in Young Contemporary Art from Germany”, MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei
ff Collaborations (Temporäre Autonome Zone), Galerie im Körnerpark, Berlin
“Festival der Kleinskulptur”, Halle für Kunst, Lüneburg.
“Neue Ware”, Galerie Christian Nagel, Köln
2012“Public Abstraction, Private Construction IV V”, Kunstverein Arnsberg, Arnsberg
“forming norming performing storming”, Galerie Christian Nagel, Antwerpen
2011“The Grand Domestic Revolution. Project Exhibition”, Casco, Volksbuurt Museum, De Rooie Rat, Utrecht, Niederlande
“B_Books”, Lothringer Halle 13, München
“Malerei. Konkret. Analytisch. Radikal. Oder so”, Overbeck-Gesellschaft, Lübeck
2010“Jahresgaben 2010″, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster.
“Der diskrete Charme des blinden Flecks”, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster
“Man könnte es auch die Elastizität des Raumes nennen”, Forgotten Bar und Bibliothekswohnung, Berlin
“Paradise Lost – Holidays in Hell”, Centro Cultural Andratx, Mallorca, Spanien
“Zeigen. Eine Audiotour durch Berlin von Karin Sander”, Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin
“The curtains close on a kiss”, Galerie Durstewitz-Sapre, Hamburg
“Galerie Christian Nagel zu Gast in Wien”, Kunstbüro, Wien
“Projektraum Kunsthalle Mannheim”, Kunsthalle Mannheim, Ausstellungsarchitektur (zusammen mit Jochen Schmith)
2008“Wunderkammer Lüneburg. Jahresgaben 2008”, Halle für Kunst, Lüneburg
“Soziale Diagramme. Planning Reconsidered”, Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Stuttgart
2007“Jahresgaben 2007 / 2008″, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg
“Gemischtes Doppel”, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg
“Kunststudentinnen und Kunststudenten stellen aus”, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn
2006“Bewerber und Bewerberinnen für die Hamburger Arbeitsstipendien für bildende Kunst 2007″, Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg
“Jahresgaben 06 / 07″, Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig
“Landungsbrücken”, Atelierfrankfurt, Frankfurt/Main
2005“Akademie. Kunst lehren und lernen”, (Modulator, Gemeinschaftsarbeit der Klasse Eran Schaerf), Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg
“post-double-super-high-opening”, Galerie der Hochschule für bildende Kunst, Hamburg
2004 “NOT IN MY NAME”, KX, Hamburg